Friday, January 01, 2010
Tomorrow is D-day and its been on my mind all week. For the first time in awhile, I will step on the scale and take my measurements. I know the news will be bad because my clothes are tight, but I hope it's not too bad.
Last night, I opted to ring in 2010 by attending a watch service at a church I've never been to. I felt more like I was at a gospel concert than a church service. The congregation was one of the youngest I've ever seen. The pastor and his wife are lovely people, but they didn't look a day past 35. Teens and young adults comprised most of the 400 people at the service, which impressed me. The worship was lively; I saw praise dancers, a gospel choir, rappers and even a christian breakdancer. Around the church were large video screens with power point slides of song lyrics and prayers so the congregation could fully participate in the worship. The service was vastly different from my church, but I was fed nonetheless.
The evening ended with a final countdown of the last 10 seconds of 2009 and as 2010 burst on the scene I couldn't help but feel optimistic about this year. I have dedicated this year to improving my health, appearance and self-esteem and the journey is almost underway. Sometimes I wonder if my motivation is selfish, or vain, but God assures me that it's hard to love others if I don't love myself. My body is His temple; he knit me in my mother's womb and brought me here for a purpose. If my mind is crowded with self-defeating thoughts and battered with negativity, it diminishes my ability to serve others. Plus, by not taking care of myself, I'm putting myself at risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. I will be 45 this year so if I don't do this now, the price tag will be high. I can't treat my body like I did when I was a teenager, a 25 year-old or even a 32 year old. I'm ready to take the steps and unlock the key to a healthier me.
Sometimes the negative thoughts flash through my mind like a song stuck on a scratched vinyl record: "WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT, YOU'VE LOST WEIGHT THOUSANDS OF TIMES. YOU'LL GIVE UP LIKE YOU ALWAYS DO. YOU HATE EXERCISE. THE FOOD THAT'S GOOD FOR YOU IS TASTELESS AND BORING. YOU CAN'T GIVE UP CAKE AND BBQ RIBS FOREVER. LOOK AT YOU; YOU'RE GETTING FATTER AND FATTER EVERY YEAR; YOU'VE BEEN FAT SINCE CHILDHOOD--WHY CHANGE NOW." And on and on and on.
I've spent the weekend countering that negativity in my mind with more positive self-talk like, "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME; DREAM YOUR DREAM; GO FOR EXCELLENCE--GOOD ENOUGH WON'T DO; JUST DO IT; FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION." And other motivational quotes. This really IS a head game. If it wasn't then why is a billionaire like Oprah continually battling her weight. She has access to gyms; personal trainers, cooks, luxury spas, etc. and it's STILL an issue. Why? Because she's got mental baggage. That's why.
Seven years ago, I joined WW and dropped 45 lbs. For the first time in a long time, I didn't have a weight problem. I had fantasized about transforming into a new and different person, but that didn't happen; I was still ME, just thinner. And life still got in the way. My child had tantrums, I had bad days at work, I broke up with a boyfriend, and my grandmother died. Of course, I ended up gaining the weight back and by 2005, I was back to my original weight. What happened? Life happened. I thought it was going to be all-consuming happiness and that wasn't the case. What else? I lost that mind, body, spirit connection that enabled me to do the things necessary to maintain the weight.
I learned important lessons from the failure, but necessary lessons. Ones I will remember as I countdown to d-day.
The experience was a huge lesson for me; now I consider it a gift.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
I'm still in planning mode for Saturday, January 2nd, which is D-day for me. Last night I grabbed a stack of old diet and fitness magazines and ripped recipes I want to try from their pages. I need to find ways to keep my diet interesting and trying new recipes is key. I also read other sparkpages, talked to my daughter and best friend about how to fit in exercise. What I've found is that because I have the attention span of a kindergartner before lunch, I need to mix it up. So I'm going to vary my exercise times, what I do and where I go. That way, if I get bored doing one thing, I will switch gears. My daughter panned the idea of purchasing a stationery bicycle. She didn't think it would keep me interested. Instead, I need to invest in a real bicycle and ride outdoors when the weather warms. I used to love the outdoors as a kid, so I guess that makes sense.
Other ideas I thought of include: 1) work out at gym; 2) mall-walking (don't laugh--I'm middle aged); 3) walking around my neighborhood; 4) walking on the hiking trail that's 7 miles from my house; 5) working out in the morning to DVDs; 6) walking during my lunch break or on my job's campus right after I get off work; 6) dropping in on a weekly Zumba class; 7) turning on some old school Cameo or Roger/Zapp and dancing around the house. My goal is to get 30 minutes of exercise a day, 4-5 days a week.
At my daughter's suggestion, I'm turning a spare room into a fitness area. I've got everything together, but need to buy a new DVD player because the old one is busted, dang it. I think that once I set up the room, it will really help create an environment that will make it easy to exercise in the morning. That way, I'm not stuck having to drive to the gym at ungodly hours. Instead, I'll save the gym for evenings and weekends.
My biggest challenge is going to be building up the habit. I was doing really well with it last spring, but I hit a "wall" where I was bored and not seeing or feeling results. Then life got in the way. As good as exercise is for stress, for me that's the first thing that goes when I'm in pain emotionally. So last summer, I suspended my dream to get back in shape to focus on my family. What a mistake. Now, six months later I have to start over. Well, they say the only time you mustn't fail is the last time you try. So, like a toddler learning to walk, I'm getting back on my feet, scanning my environment for possible obstacles and preparing for that first big step.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
It is often said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. My first step will start with my official weigh in on Saturday. In the meantime, I continue to prepare my mind and my spirit to begin this journey. I spent the day in prayer and meditation and asked for God's guidance through this time. I consider myself a spiritual person, not overtly religious, so for me a higher power is necessary. Dieting is a mental struggle and requires the sustained ability to give up today's little pleasures for a bigger, more meaningful reward tomorrow. In today's instant gratification society, dieting is especially difficult. I know a lot of experts prefer the euphemism "lifestyle change', and it is. But anytime you are modifying your eating habits to lose weight, dieting is what I call it.
Today, I announced to my friends and family my plans to lose weight. Usually, I'm so private about stuff like dieting, but I need all the accountability I can get. For now, I want to review all the reasons why I'm doing this.
10 reasons I want to lose weight in 2010
1. So I can look nice in my clothes.
2. So I can look younger (black women don't wrinkle as we age; we get fat).
3. So I can feel attractive and confident.
4. So I can be more attractive to men.
5. So I can raise my self-esteem.
6. So I will have more energy.
7. So I can look good in a swimsuit.
8. So I won't be the "big girl" at parties and social events.
9. So I won't wanna hide when someone pulls out a camera.
10. So I can feel a sense of accomplishment.
I'm sure I can think of more reasons but this is a good start. Although I haven't weighed, I like to break up my efforts into smaller "baby steps", so I intend to focus on 10 lbs at a time and build in some non-food rewards along the way. I also need to focus on how I will get my exercise. Should I join a gym? Buy a stationery bike? Move to some DVDS? Walk outdoors in frightful, 20 degree and snowy weather? I need to make up my mind, for real. Also, what time of day? I think mornings are best. I hate gettin' up early, but I think I'll work out more consistently if I do.
I also need to write down what I eat. I don't care for that either, but I need to put my big girl panties on and quit whinin' about what I don't like doin' and focus on my passion for gettin' to goal.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Motivation experts say there are four phases to making change; pre-contemplation, contemplation, execution, and evaluation. Guess I'm phasing from contemplation to execution. Weight is something that's been a lifelong battle and it's a battle I'm tired of losing. I tire easily, feel depressed and lack confidence in my appearance. I'm a stress-induced emotional eater and this year has been traumatic in many ways. After months of neglecting my health, I'm ready to begin this battle to get down to my fighting weight.
Like many people, I know all about diets because I've tried them all--weight watchers, southbeach, etc. What I realize is that all of these plans offer good lessons, but if they don't help me sustain the changes I make, then they are temporary solutions to deeper problems.
I was elated when I found Sparkpeople, because I knew the blogging feature was something I'd want to use. Plus, the fact that its free and offers me a community of like-minded souls, accountability and a feeling of togetherness without having to succumb to weekly meetings in a room full of strangers.
Saturday, January 2nd, is D-day. I'm preparing by stocking up on frozen veggies, chicken and fish. I'm ready to do this damn, thing, lol!
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